Author Archive | frank

These cobbles don't stand a chance against little Lizzie A. Photo: Ashley Gruber.

This Spells Rain

by / / 68 posts

For those of you with an interest in the subtle art of Paying Attention, you may have noticed a few things about my writing technique: apart from the inescapable fact that it is untrained and terrible, I make a habit of overusing the semicolon, a practice I started when I heard my third grade teacher tell…

A bunch of new friends rolls along, getting to know one another.

Oversharing on the Group Ride

by / / 57 posts

My dog greets every dog on the street as though it were her long lost best friend. As soon as the customary butt-sniffing has been sorted out, the two dogs will wrestle each other endlessly, stopping only after an owner-forced separation. Any human that falls within her gaze is a viable candidate for a new home…

The Goldilocks Principle in full effect.

Goldilocks Principle: The Golden Ratio

by / / 127 posts

There is a disturbance in the V. I have felt it for some time, and I suspect many of you have as well. The matter has to do with the ever increasing length of bibshorts and socks, approaching the knee like two lionesses stalking their prey in the savanna. Tracing back to the origin of this trend,…

Today is a good day to ride.

The Fasting Ride

by / / 80 posts

I’ve been doing fasting rides on the weekend, before breakfast and maybe also before lunch, depending on how long the ride is. The longer the ride, the lower the intensity. Also the more likely I am to meet my old friend, the Man with the Hammer. I might bring an Emergency Gel, in its glass tube, but I…

A fenderless creature emerges from the bog of the Forest of Arenberg.

Fendangelism

by / / 143 posts

Mudguards (fenders) and saddlebags are two subjects that are sure to get our collective ire up as Cyclists. When I wrote in one of my columns for Cyclist that saddlebags should never be used, my editor told me that he received a record number of emails threatening to cancel their subscription on the basis that my column was a…

The Killer, Jan Lenferink, has arrived.

Anatomy of a Photo: The Eyes of March

by / / 30 posts

Some riders lose before they even arrive at the start line, questioning their form or their health, or allowing themselves to be demoralized by the weather or the distance of the day’s racing. Other riders win the race just by showing up. Jan won the moment he threw his woolly jumper over his flowery, collared shirt, and casually…

Phantom aero in the snow. Top marks, Michele.

Breathing Through Your Ears

by / / 65 posts

Suffering is part of Cycling the way alcohol is part of liver failure: they are obviously connected but it’s too much fun to stop and think about why you do it. Grace finds us through La Volupté, but her touch is rare and we generally are far better acquainted with her husband, The Man with the…

The Pro Mechanic. Is that a cigarette and is that diesel in there? Photo: HBStache

Dream Job

by / / 87 posts

I love working on my bikes. I feel closer to them, like a samurai sharpening their blade or a soldier cleaning their pistol; this simple act of preparation prepares us for the suffering that is to come, with the notable distinction that a Cyclist chooses this suffering with no tangible consequence while the warrior faces probably…

As a matter of fact, no, I hadn't forgotten how awesome I am.

Body Language

by / / 87 posts

A true leader rarely asks someone to do something for them; the best leaders inspire through their own example those around them to follow suit and join them in their cause. The leader is fueled by something that is not externally driven, it is born from within and appears in this world as passion and conviction. These…

Motors are acceptable for this.

Motorhead

by / / 178 posts

Motherfucker. I honestly don’t like swearing in an Article, much less using such a word to open an article, but seriously. Motherfucker. A motor discovered in an U23 rider’s bike at the Cyclocross World Championships has to be the lowest of the low that anyone can go. I’m so pissed off, I’m rhyming. Which itself makes me…

Keep the guns under cover until it's time to fight.

Gunslinger

by / / 80 posts

It is well known that knee warmers look better than leg warmers. Which isn’t to say leg warmers can’t look the business as well, but they will never look as good as knee warmers. The science is very clear on this. Nevertheless, I’ve been enjoying wearing full leg warmers even when the weather doesn’t necessarily require them. Something about…

This is a gordon, not a bidon.

To Bidon Or Not To Bidon

by / / 144 posts

This is serious, people. I hope you’re sitting down. Really. Sit down. Not a half sit. A real sit. Both cheeks. If you’re reading this on your phone, put the phone away and wait until you are sitting behind a computer like a civilized person. Ready? Deep breath. I have it on the excellent authority…

There are a few subtle indications of this not being  the right way to do it.

Doing It Wrong

by / / 69 posts

Cycling is a complex sport, one whose fabric is densely woven from the fibers of a Hundred Years War between evolution and tradition. The Rules were laid out in part to provide a path through the chaos, helping lead the disciple towards transcendence. In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Learn the rules like a pro, so…

These aren't the men you're looking for. Photo: Tim De Waele

Body Dysmorphia

by / / 127 posts

I am thrilled to announce that for the first time in my life, my chest measurement is smaller than my hip measurement, an accomplishment I’m not sure many men around the world would be proud to admit. A Cyclist has no use for an upper body, we’re not going about lifting things with our arms; we are…

Always store your bike in the mechanic's position: small-small to ease tension on the derailleur springs. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

On Rules #26 and #65: Spring Theory

by / / 80 posts

To hold opposing truths in one’s heart is a beautiful thing; to find resonance within contradiction is a liberating force that opens one’s mind to a wide world of possibilities. Life lived in black and white is a bland, simple world, after all: everything interesting in life happens in the gray space in between. There is…

...and now let me tell you about the time I made Roger cry.

Anatomy of a Photo: Top Dog

by / / 36 posts

I have it on excellent authority that life is good when you’re at the top. I myself am, of course, nowhere near the top but I felt a glimmer of it today, briefly savoring the unique palate of having some semblance of form in January. Which feels a lot like a victory over Christmas. And kicking Christmas’ ass feels pretty…

Erik Breukink crushes fools on the Gavia

Unsung Heroes: Erik “Gavia” Breukink

by / / 21 posts

I do love my Dutchmen. That much I admit. I also admit my love for the Americans with whom I share a passport. These affections are expressed erratically and sporadically, often at high volumes, and sometimes with some unreasonably held or possibly non factual evidence to support my passion. At this point, my love for…

Lean casually.

Lean In, Lean Out

by / / 71 posts

I profess to understand every mannerism and habit of the Cyclist. I’m Dutch, and I’m a writer, so it all comes pretty naturally. The problem is that thinking you understand something and actually understanding it are two completely different things; the first is confidence, the second is wisdom; there is no Venn diagram that has an…

Meeeeerckxy Chriiiisstmas!

Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year

by / / 57 posts

As 20VVV comes to a close, we’d like to once again thank each and every one of you for your readership and participation in this amazing community. Each of you are what makes Velominati the most exciting (if divisive) community in the Cycling world, and none of it would mean a thing if not for…

That is some serious gunnage my boy Jan is showing off there.

Zee Germans

by / / 48 posts

The Germans are onto something. They call a bike a “rad”. From a linguistic standpoint, that is the most accurate name for a bike in any language. They call Cycling “riding rad”. I’m not even making that up. Radfahren. When they put it in a sentence, it translates roughly to “I’m practicing being rad.” I accept the…

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